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Milestone: More than 25 percent of Foundation staff from Aboriginal backgrounds

Updated: Nov 27, 2023

The Foundation has hit a milestone with more than 25% of its staff from Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander backgrounds following the appointment of Roie Caine as Practice Manager and Registered Nurse in our Galariinbaraay/Collarenebri Medical Centre.

Alongside our existing Aboriginal staff, the Foundation has now met and exceeded its target to recruit more Aboriginal staff into front line health and management roles.

Foundation CEO Mark Burdack said: "The performance indicator for me is not the number or the percentage of Aboriginal people who work for us, but whether our organisation is reflective of the communities we serve in rural and remote Australia.

"What I want is a wide variety of voices and perspectives around the table that reflect the lived experiences, needs and expectations of our communities.

"We know from bitter history how poorly we do when we try to design and delivery health and social care by getting a bunch of people in the cities to find solutions to problems they don't understand in communities in which they have never lived.

"It's not good enough to just have a community advisory group that I consult every couple of months. That's just window-dressing diversity in my view.

"I cannot be a good leader if I don't have experts around me every day who have lived experience of the problems facing our communities, and what solutions can work.

"This is as true for the participation of women and LGBTIQ+ people in rural communities, as it is for Aboriginal people.

"When we report on diversity at the Foundation I talk about numbers and percentages because that is how the world understands diversity.

"But when we do diversity at the Foundation, it is about people and perspectives" said Mr Burdack.

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